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Creating custom attributes

From: Character Rigging in Maya

Video: Creating custom attributes

Now let's go ahead and actually use set-driven keys to add controls for our character's hand. Now on this rig, we have rigged it all the way up to the character's wrist. We haven't done the fingers or the thumb yet. Now if I wanted to, I could keep going, using the same techniques that we have used before, and that's just adding in control objects and using an Orient constraint to control the rotation of the fingers. But we are actually going to use a more advanced method. We are going to use the wrist as a control object.

Creating custom attributes

Now let's go ahead and actually use set-driven keys to add controls for our character's hand. Now on this rig, we have rigged it all the way up to the character's wrist. We haven't done the fingers or the thumb yet. Now if I wanted to, I could keep going, using the same techniques that we have used before, and that's just adding in control objects and using an Orient constraint to control the rotation of the fingers. But we are actually going to use a more advanced method. We are going to use the wrist as a control object.

So I am actually going to select the wrist, and under this, in addition to the Rotate controls to move the actual hand, I'm going to add controls to adjust the individual fingers. Now we can do this in a number of ways. We can create one control that just bends every joint of the finger evenly, or we can create an individual control for each joint. So in order to keep this simple, I am just going to create one control per finger and then something to spread the fingers apart.

So let's go ahead and start adding in Attributes for this wrist. We can do that under the Modify panel. We have an option here called Add Attribute. So as long as I have the left wrist selected and select Add Attribute, this menu will come up. Now what this does is it allows us to create our own custom attributes that will show up in the Channel Box. So, for example, I can create one called index finger curl, or Index_Curl, and that's a control to actually curl the index finger forward, and then all I have to do is make sure that the attribute is keyable. And what type of attribute is it? Is it a Vector? Is it a Boolean? We are going to leave this on Float.

What type is it? Is it a Scalar or is it a particle? That sort of thing. We also have Minimum and Maximum attributes. So if I want 0 to be the finger straight out and 10 to be completely curled, I can do that. And then once we have all this in, I am going to go ahead and click OK. And notice how we have a new value here that shows up. We can scroll it from 0 to 10, but it's not connected up yet. So let's go ahead and add in additional controls and then in the next lesson we will connect them up.

So again, I am going to keep the wrist selected, go Add Attribute. I am going to add in a couple of more. I am going to add one in for the middle finger to curl, and again, just that same values here, and we are going to create a minimum and a maximum of 0 and 10. If we hit the Add button, it adds it in and keeps us in this menu. So we can also do one for Pinky_Curl, again 0 to 10, Add, and one for let's say, Finger_Spread, to spread the fingers apart.

And again, with this one, we want to actually be able to push the fingers together or pull them apart. So let's do from -10 to +10, and then we can also add ones for the thumb. We could do Thumb_Bend, and thumbs also go up and down along the plane, so let's go ahead and do one called Thumb_UpDown, and again, that's kind of like a spread control. So now that we have these in place, whenever I select the wrist, I have all of these attributes that I can now use to create action on the hand.

I am going to do that using set-driven keys in the next lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Rigging in Maya
Character Rigging in Maya

63 video lessons · 8411 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 8m 21s
    1. Understanding the basic rig
      2m 53s
    2. Rigging theory
      2m 15s
    3. Organizing with layers
      1m 44s
    4. Naming conventions
      1m 29s
  3. 37m 11s
    1. Using the Joint tool
      7m 4s
    2. Modifying joint attributes
      6m 47s
    3. Creating the lower-body skeleton
      6m 45s
    4. Creating the spine skeleton
      5m 57s
    5. Creating the arms
      3m 38s
    6. Creating hand skeletons
      4m 41s
    7. Mirroring joint chains
      2m 19s
  4. 22m 0s
    1. Working with inverse kinematics (IK)
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding IK solvers
      6m 33s
    3. Blending between inverse and forward kinematics (FK)
      4m 52s
    4. Using spline IK
      4m 39s
  5. 21m 3s
    1. Point constraints
      7m 56s
    2. Aim constraints
      5m 10s
    3. Orient constraints
      4m 38s
    4. Pole vector constraints
      3m 19s
  6. 37m 6s
    1. Setting up IK
      4m 15s
    2. Setting up foot controls
      5m 59s
    3. Keeping rigs organized
      2m 51s
    4. Hiding unused attributes
      3m 37s
    5. Creating a hip control
      3m 55s
    6. Controlling knee direction
      3m 2s
    7. Creating spine controls
      4m 37s
    8. Controlling forward kinematics on the arms
      6m 20s
    9. Creating a master node
      2m 30s
  7. 28m 11s
    1. Working with set-driven keys
      4m 38s
    2. Creating custom attributes
      3m 54s
    3. Wiring joints to custom attributes
      8m 2s
    4. Creating an FK/IK switch
      4m 35s
    5. Setting up elbow controls
      2m 5s
    6. Hiding and showing controls
      4m 57s
  8. 24m 46s
    1. Creating simple eyes
      6m 58s
    2. Rigging non-spherical eyes
      7m 49s
    3. Attaching eyes to the skeleton
      3m 18s
    4. Applying blend shapes
      6m 41s
  9. 42m 31s
    1. Binding skin using Smooth Bind
      3m 28s
    2. Testing skin using animation
      4m 36s
    3. Pruning small weights
      3m 53s
    4. Painting skin weights
      5m 47s
    5. Editing skin weights in the Component Editor
      6m 1s
    6. Mirroring skin weights
      2m 2s
    7. Using Interactive Skin Bind
      3m 36s
    8. Refining skin on the upper body
      2m 3s
    9. Using skeletons to create a jaw
      3m 22s
    10. Refining jaw weighting
      7m 43s
  10. 47m 20s
    1. Setting up a control panel
      2m 27s
    2. Limiting controller motion
      6m 15s
    3. Rigging basic facial controls using set-driven keys
      2m 31s
    4. Rigging the jaw using set-driven keys
      4m 22s
    5. Rigging pupil controls
      3m 29s
    6. Controlling eye direction
      3m 21s
    7. Controlling eyelids with expressions
      5m 44s
    8. Using expressions to rig mouth controls
      8m 1s
    9. Creating a smile/frown control using expressions
      8m 56s
    10. Finishing up the facial rig
      2m 14s
  11. 6m 42s
    1. Cleaning up the rig
      2m 25s
    2. Testing the rig
      4m 17s
  12. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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